Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.
Though eating too many sugary, high-fat foods is never a good idea, studies show that there is no link between diet and acne.
The more you wash your face, the fewer breakouts you'll have.
Though washing your face helps to remove dirt and oil from your pores, washing too much can lead to dryness and irritation, causing more breakouts. Also, avoid scrubbing your face, which can irritate the skin. As a general rule, wash your face twice a day with mild soap and water in a circular motion and gently pat dry when you're done.
Myth #4: Popping pimples will help them go away faster.
Though popping a pimple may make it seem less noticeable temporarily, popping can cause it to stay around longer. By squeezing pimples and zits, you can actually push bacteria further into the skin, causing more swelling and redness - and sometimes causing a red or brown mark or scar to form. Sometimes marks can last for many months and true scars (dents and pits) will last forever.
Myth #5: Don't wear makeup if you want clear skin.
As long as you choose cosmetics that are nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, they shouldn't cause breakouts. In fact, some concealers now contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, which help to fight acne. You can also try tinted benzoyl peroxide creams that hide pimples while helping treat them.
If you've had moderate to severe acne, though, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about the best cosmetics to use - he or she may recommend avoiding cosmetics altogether or only using certain brands so you're acne isn't aggravated.
And even if a product is labeled nonacnegenic or noncomedogenic, you should stop using it and talk to your doctor if you notice that it's irritating your skin or seems to cause breakouts.
Myth #6: If you keep getting breakouts, it helps to use more acne medication until the breakouts stop.
Because acne medication contains drying agents like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, using too much medication may cause overdrying, leading to irritation and more blemishes.
If over-the-counter acne medication doesn't seem to work on your acne, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Also, if you're taking a prescription acne medication, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions; some medications may take up to 8 weeks to make a significant difference.
Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD
Date reviewed: July 2003